7 Vital Things You Must Know Before You Select A Tennis Coach
When selecting a tennis coach for your child, it is vital to make sure that you find the best suited tennis coach. Especially with children that are developing not only physical, but emotionally and psychological as well.
Here are 7 vital things you must know before you choose a tennis coach for your child:
1. Qualifications and Word of Mouth
The first thing you should make sure is that the coach you have in mind is holds accreditation from an officially recognised tennis body. In addition to accreditation the possible coach should be screened and insured. Besides the screening, insurance, and accreditation, take a closer look at their qualifications obtained after accreditation. Coaches with students participating on a regional or national level are a good measurement of success.
Additionally, word of mouth is still one of the best ways to make sure you heading towards making a good choice. If word hits the streets that a certain coach is well known for good developmental skills, coaching programs, and clubs, you are most likely on the right track.
When getting word of mouth references, pay attention if:
- The coach is able to develop motor skills in young players.
- Have an impact on junior players to advance into junior competitions.
- Help children to advance through the different levels of tournaments.
2. Professional Expertise
The majority of parents that are searching for a good tennis coach have no tennis background. (see Parent's Role) More often than not these parents do not know what to look for and know if a coach has the professional expertise to detect, correct, and develop a child's tennis game. Ask the following questions:
- Did the coach undergo the correct training and is ongoing personal development for him and the team important?
- To whom do they look up to as mentors?
- How did the coach obtain his knowledge and skill?
- Does the coach teach children the "why" to enhance problem solving skills?
- Are technology such as visual aids and video analysis part of the coaching?
There is no tennis coaching method cast in stone, however there are a couple of key principals that are essential for a coach to employ in his coaching approach for all ages and all levels:
- What is the coach's way of thinking"
- Does he convey his developmental plan for every separate child as they progress?
- Is the coach enthusiastic about teaching tennis?
- Do the distinct requirements of a child come first?
3. Does The Coach Care About The Children?
The relationship between the coach and your child is crucial. Your child should feel welcome, safe, and comfortable to interact with other players and the coach. To ensure your child is with the right coach in a good environment is to attend a free trial session or a number of lessons. While you are there, have a talk with the other parents and get their opinions too.
When the time for tournaments and competition come, will the coach be there? There is a significant difference in performance from training sessions to match playing. It is important for a coach to be able to see how a player behave and perform in the various situations and under different levels of pressure. It is also a good time for a coach to evaluate the skills and development areas that has been working on during practice and if it is applied correctly.
4. Professionalism, Trustworthy, Organised, Reliable
Since your first meeting with the possible coach you should be able to note and experience these attributes. Things like how easy and comfortable it is to communicate with the coach, how well information is made available, how the lessons are organised, and the quality of the lessons will all give you an indication.
Alternative indicators of professionalism, trustworthiness, good organisation, and reliability are:
- Coach to student ratio
- Is the coach acting and appearing professional
- Is the coach punctual and does lessons start and end on time?
- Does he make effort to know the children's names?
- Does he make use of lesson plans?
- Are lessons set up before lessons start?
These questions may sound trivial at first but remember children will notice it too, and it will certainly have an effect on their experience.
5. Is The Coach A Good Role Model?
Being a coach is much more than teaching someone to play tennis. This role changes frequently as a child gets older and his level of skill progress. Some of the crucial basic roles a coach should perform are:
- Improve the independence of a child
- Increase the self confidence of students
- Be a teacher, motivator, and trainer
- Be a confidant
- Act as a disciplinarian
- Be a good role model
6. Communication With The Children and Parents
Regardless of the level or kind of sport, the way a coach communicates with the players is what sets them apart. Coaches must be able to speak well but also listen equally well. What should you concentrate on if you look at how a coach speaks to children and the parents?
- The clarity of what he is saying
- If the children understand the reason for communication
- Is the communication positive or judgemental of nature
- Is the communication to the point, consistent, and valuable
- Is communication honest, realistic, and open
- Is there a designated time to communicate as parent with the coach
7. Is Fun and Friendliness Part of the Equation
These are aspects that you will notice immediately once you arrive at the lessons. The interaction between the coach and the children will let you know right away if this is a fun and friendly environment that the children enjoy to be in. If the children enjoy their activities and are engaged, you know that they are learning well and have good progress while having fun.